Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan

Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan
Publisher: A Jove Book, Berkley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (418 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Breezy Simmons was born into a ruthless motorcycle club—and now that she’s out, she’s never going to be that girl again. But when her past catches up with her, Breezy must go to Sea Haven to seek out the man who almost destroyed her. The man who chose his club over her and left her feeling used and alone.

As vice president of Torpedo Ink, Steele is ride or die for the brothers he lived through hell with. He never thought he’d find something as pure as his feelings for Breezy, or that keeping her safe would mean driving her away with cruel words that turned her love for him to ash.

Now, Steele won’t let her walk away twice. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Breezy his woman again—especially when he learns the real reason she came to him for help, and that the stakes are higher than he ever could have imagined…

I’m hooked. I mixed up Ms. Feehan’s, Torpedo Ink novels with her Shadow series and I ended up reading a book I didn’t expect. This is the second book in the series and I didn’t feel lost because I hadn’t read the first. When this novel was through putting me through an emotional wringer, I found I have to spend more money, not only on the previous book but the end of the last Sea Haven series where Torpedo Ink was introduced. Like I said, I’m hooked.
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You saw the page count of this book, right? I read it in one day. One day. Stayed up until 1 A.M. to do it and yes I was dog-tired the next day at work. It was worth it.

If a reader is used to the action/violence of the vampires with her Carpathians, the style in this series blows it through the roof. Fortunately, Ms. Feehan only shares enough for a reader to get that lump in the stomach feeling, the horror and uncomfortable twitching that went on with me when Steele shared with Breezy just what he went through growing up and being groomed to be the ultimate assassin in Russia, for Russia. Understand that it’s not gratuitous that the author put this stuff in there – a reader needs to know the whys and hows that created such a dysfunctional, messed up and anti-social anti-hero hero. Yes, anti-hero hero. Why? Because Steele and his MC family do things that are not nice, legal or normal and would have every legal agency after them should it be known just who and what they were. And yet, these men and women of Torpedo Ink need saving the most. They need strong women/partners who will stand up to them while giving them what they need to heal emotionally and mentally.

I didn’t list the subject matter that made this book fall into the erotic side of things because not all of it was ‘bedroom door wide open for everyone to experience, and hey! Let’s participate! never mind see’ – yes, the door is open, but it’s not solidly voyeuristic, or exhibitionist or classified as BDSM. It’s mentioned but not an active part of the sex between Steele and Breezy. It’s backdrop. Sort of. Steele is incredibly dominant and when Ms. Feehan described for a reader the oral part of Breezy with Steele’s …. steel, it was so graphic and clear, and yes well written, that for the first time, I could visualize just what actually happens when a heroine is mouthy with the hero. I’m not a fan of that stuff but I now have a clearer understanding of the process. It actually sounds like a lot of work! But if you love someone, and Breezy most definitely loves Steele, every dark and naughty, scary and strong part of him, it fits.

As for the villains of the novel, there are a lot, and every single one of them gets what they deserve. Again, it’s rather violent but the crimes the bad guys perpetrate on the innocent are so heinous, only people the caliber of Torpedo Ink can exact a fitting level of justice. I appreciated it greatly when the author had Breezy, and that means the reader too, leave the scene before it became too shocking and ghastly. However, a reader has no problem imagining the rest. That was enough for me.

Another thing I found fascinating was the terminology. I’m starting to see so many books out there that I think it’s become a genre – MC romances. MC is Motorcycle Club and I am so glad that the author included a glossary at the end. I figured things out mostly by inference, but it was nice to have a solid explanation. I just wish I’d known about the glossary beforehand.

There is no doubt that Christine Feehan is a talented and creative word artist, but she pushed the envelope farther than I expected. Yet, she is so professional that I will continue to read about this new world she’s created, even if it seems darker than her Dark series. I like the characters she’s introduced me to and I found the men and women of Torpedo Ink worth the effort of saving. It’s the ‘how’ of it that fascinates me. Breezy is perfect for Steele but that doesn’t mean it’s easy between them. It’s not. There’s a history and a lot of water under the bridge that they have to reconcile in order for them to have a future. They are successful and it’s their journey that engaged me, gripped me and had my emotions bouncing like a pogo stick. Very cool.

So, in conclusion, if a reader is into gritty, no apologies alpha men with dark, tragic pasts with the strength to face their demons and pulverize them, then I suggest really giving Vengeance Road a try. I totally recommend it.

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